what is a pap smear test

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  • What is a Pap smear and how is it done?

  • A Pap smear, also called a Pap test, is an exam a doctor uses to test for cervical cancer in women. It can also reveal changes in your cervical cells that may turn into cancer later. Why Is a Pap Smear Done?

  • Can a Pap smear detect cervical cancer?

  • A Pap smear can also detect changes in your cervical cells that suggest cancer may develop in the future. Detecting these abnormal cells early with a Pap smear is your first step in halting the possible development of cervical cancer. A Pap smear is used to screen for cervical cancer. The Pap smear is usually done in conjunction with a pelvic exam.

  • What does abnormal Pap smear results mean?

  • Abnormal results. Squamous cell cancer or adenocarcinoma cells. This result means the cells collected for the Pap smear appear so abnormal that the pathologist is almost certain a cancer is present. Squamous cell cancer refers to cancers arising in the flat surface cells of the vagina or cervix.

  • Is it safe to get a Pap smear?

  • A Pap smear is considered a safe procedure. But it鈥檚 possible that the test may miss some abnormal cells or cervical cancers (false negative). Talk to your doctor about the benefits and risks of cervical cancer screening.

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